Sermon Series: The Book of Acts | Chapters 1–7
What comes to your mind when you think of “church”? Religious institution might be the #1 answer. Maybe you’d say it’s a social justice agency (e.g. help the poor, feed the hungry, etc.) or perhaps a social club (it’s all about the relationships). All of those have merit. None of them gives the full picture.
And if we were to ask unchurched folks what they think of the church, the answers would more often than not be dismissive (the church is antiquated and irrelevant), or cynical (they’re a bunch of crooks), if not angry (there’s been so much abuse in the name of God). And, let’s be honest, some of those feelings would be entirely justified.
So, what is the church? The best and primary source to define and describe the church is a New Testament book called The Acts of the Apostles which recounts the founding and earliest days of the church in the first century A.D. Written by a physician named Luke, it is the second half of his two-volume set that starts with The Gospel of Luke. It tells the extraordinary story of those first apostles and the powerful work of the Holy Spirit in them, using them to preach the gospel and plant churches around the Mediterranean world.
But it isn’t just a history book. As we wrestle with what it means to be the church of Jesus Christ in the 21st century, what Dr. Luke wrote two millennia ago resounds with prescriptions and principles, examples and inspiration that give us the most complete picture of what the church is to be today. And there is no better way for us to launch into our 19th ministry year at Harvest Barrie than to look intently into this book and open ourselves up to whatever God has for us.